Today’s species, formerly known as Dodecatheon dentatum, is found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The epithet dentatum was in reference to the toothed leaves, a feature I unfortunately didn’t photograph this year.
The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia and other references list this taxon as locally infrequent in south-central British Columbia. Few specimens have seemingly been collected in the province. It seems I was very fortunate to randomly stumble upon it growing alongside a vernal stream near Princeton, British Columbia, as I had no prior notion that it occurred in that vicinity. The official story is that a yellow violet caught my eye, so I stopped to look at that and then chanced upon the shootingstar. Unofficially, the bumps and rolls of gravel logging roads increase my need for roadside “rest stops”.
Two separate sizable populations were located within what I believe to be the same drainage; one population was growing in full shade at slightly lower elevation and flowered earlier, the other population was growing in full sun exposure in a five- to ten-year old clearcut at higher elevation, and was a week or more behind. One common feature between the two sites was groundwater seeping past the roots. Brent Hine (curator of UBC’s alpine garden at the time of writing) subsequently collected a few individuals on behalf of the BC Rainforest Garden here at UBC.
For additional photographs with a sense of scale, I recommend the image collection at the Burke Museum: Dodecatheon dentatum subsp. dentatum.